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cropped Tartan Trench

I just logged on to Jcrew.com and guess what? They have some new holiday stuff up. Like this perfect jacket. Love the cropped length. It’s short enough to show off the waist but long enough to cover most of your torso. The green color is a nice addition to the sea of black that I normally see everywhere. Match it with a white scarf and some jeans, and you’ll be walking in a winter wonderland. Downside, it costs $350. Ouch.

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Boudin SF- Yummy and warm

I’d been waiting for the opening of Boudin SF for what seemed like forever. Every day I drive by a certain section of town on my way to class, and finally I noticed that the place had opened! How exciting, right? I rounded up my friends and we decided to try it out one night.

Boudin SF in Sacramento

Immediately, when I entered Boudin’s it reminded me of a bigger version of Noah’s Bagels. Lots of people, order at the counter, and lots of items on display. The display is pitiful, to say the least. The cookies were just piled on top of each other, and the muffins and other pastries were laid out next to each other. I wanted to run behind the counter and show them how to set up those goodies. Now, it’s really hard to make pastries look unappetizing to me. But no amount of butter or sugar could make me want to buy a brownie or croissant.

You’d think that the cafe would show off their bread more. Instead of putting it right in front of you, the bread is hung on a wall behind the register. Yes, literally mounted on the wall. I don’t know about you, but when I walk into a bakery, I like to see all the beautiful goodies right in front of me, close enough to smell their aroma and taste. They had a good array of breads, from Multi-grain sourdough to French bread. And I liked the open window to the kitchen that was right next to the register. It made waiting in line entertaining, at least to me.

After perusing the menu, I ordered a bowl of roasted tomato soup along with a round of sourdough bread. The soup was really good, creamy and tangy. The bread was out of this world. White and extra fluffy inside, it was perfectly warm. And you know what the best part was? THEY GAVE ME SOFT PAT OF BUTTER! I can’t stand cold butter. It needs to be room temp. How else can I spread it on the loaf?

Sourdough round

All in all, the cafe is good. They offer a good variety of food, from soup to sandwiches to salads, all at decent prices. You can see the menu here. The food was served to us so quickly that we hadn’t even sat down yet. The service was friendly enough, and the atmosphere laid back. Besides the bad first impression, I think everyone should try Boudin SF. The food speaks for itself…

(Since this first visit, I have already gone back and tried other things out on the menu but that’s for another post.)

images from boudinbakery.com

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Sacramento Top 10

In honor of the Best of Sacramento, one of the coolest events in town that honors local restaurants and bars on November 29th, I decided to make my own little list of the “Best of the Best”. These places are my go-to favorites and they keep me coming back time after time with their fun atmospheres and delicious cuisines.

In my honest broke-college student opinion, these restaurants are the best because they are affordable which is a big concern for me. I’m not into spending tons of money on going out to dinner, unless its like David Beckham is serving it to me naked, but that’s a different story… Starting right off the top:

1. Ernesto’s- If I could eat at this place every night without popping my pants and going broke, I totally would. The atmosphere is electric, with crazy mariachi bands playing on Friday and a generally laid-back ambiance that is very welcoming. And can I mention how delish the food is? OH DEAR GOD. It can take me hours to decide what I want from that place because everything is so good. From the fajitas to the nachos or the whole bean soup, nothing will let you down.The flavors and cuisine are ten times better here than any other Mexican restaurant in town because it’s authentic. None of this American/Mexican crap. And the cocktails are lethal. Always a plus.

2. Crepeville- This is the best breakfast/lunch/dinner/late night nosh spot in Sacramento. Hands down. Nothing is more than 8 or 9 bucks and you don’t pay tip. YES! The crepes are stacked with goodness, from my favorite, the salsa crepe, to the oozing chicken pesto crepe. And the best part of the crepe dishes is that they come with a side of extra tasty red potatoes. I’ve also had their French toast which is a surprisingly fresh and natural take on the normally heavily sugared dish. And the soaps and salads are full and hearty. Dessert crepes range from the best nutella crepe, to apple crepes and strawberry crepes.

3. Jack’s Urban Eats- By far, the best place to go if you want an easy and fast dinner. While the prices are a bit high, you definitely get you money’s worth. Their salads are the best and the sides are so mouthwatering.They also have a meat bar for sandwiches, but to be honest, I’ve never had anything from the meat station. Besides a teriyaki bowl which was really tasty. I’d recommend the fries and the garlic bread, both make good partners with their salads.

4. BoBo’s Cafe- This is way outside of downtown, near my childhood neighborhood. I remember coming to this Vietnamese restaurant every week when I was young. I’d always get the fresh spring rolls, the Pho soup (combination of beef meatballs, rice noodles and cilantro), and a strawberry soda. Quick and cheap, this is the best Vietnamese place in Sacramento.

5. Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant- Be prepared to eat when you come here. Seriously. Even though the general meal costs about 30 dollars, you get a couple of appetizers including wonderful bread and a delicious carrot-puff pastry. Next up is a lentil soup, which was probably the best I ever had. Chicken kabobs with cous cous and yogurt are normal main courses. And ending the meal is sweet tea along with homemade Baklava. The people are really friendly, and did I mention that there was belly-dancing? The experience is worth every penny.

6. Ettore’s- Honestly, I come here for the dessert and pastries. It’s my go to for a sweet fix. If I gave in to my sugarholic ways, I’d eat here every day. The fruit basket cake is fantastic, and so is the Kahlua Cake. You can’t go wrong here for sweet stuff.

7. Dos Coyotes- Fast, cheap, and probably the best burrito in town. Fresh blac beans mixed with cilantro and guacomole. It’s all I need. Forget Chipotle or Taco Bell, this is my idea of great fast food. Plus, the salsa is seriously addicting. Most everything on the menu costs about 5 to 8 bucks. And you always get a side of fresh chips.

8. Paesano’s- All of their pizza is really good (My favorite is the Margherita) and they have a wide range of drinks, from beer to cocktails. Their Bellini is really good, and you can’t go wrong with their fried ravioli. This cute little pizzeria has a nice cozy atmostphere and is always busy, so be prepared to wait for a table.

9. Mikuni’s- The sushi is really good here, but honestly you come for the environment. Sit back with some Sake and miso soup and just people-watch. Tons of young people fill the bar and it’s always busy. The tempura is good here, nice and crunchy. I’m a sucker for their little meal boxes though. They are affordable and give you a taste of everything.

10. Cornerstone- Cheap, cheap, CHEAP breakfast place. I used to come here with my mom and get the best pancakes ever for barely 5 bucks. The biscuits and gravy are really good too, but I am a sucker for their french toast.

Phew. I am hungry now. The questions is, where should I go?

January 17, 2011 - 10:28 pm

Sasha - I realize this is an older post and I don’t know if you will get the comment, but you have picked the best of the best. AMAZING taste! Seriously, best restaurants in Sac. Had Ernesto’s the other night and worked at Dos Coyotes the past two summers. Judging from your restaurant taste, I reeeeally need to try some of your recipes sometime.

January 19, 2011 - 4:31 am

Amanda - Have you been to Centro’s on J street? MUCH better than Ernestos and it has become a favorite of mine.

January 22, 2011 - 8:37 pm

Sasha - No, but I’ve always passed by it and wondered about it. I’ll have to try it out soon! Thanks for the suggestion :)

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look to lust for

James Perse is a designer from L.A. who makes wonderfully simple pieces that go with everything. Honestly, everything! I have two of his dresses and I wear them all the time. I thought I’d have to put them in retirement once winter kicked in, but I’m happy to report that they are winter-ready when matched with tights and a cardigan. But, for how simple they are, the dresses are a teeny bit expensive. Let’s just say good investment pieces, but not something I can buy every week.

And the slouchy turtle neck is great for winter, especially when paired with a scarf or long pendant. I like the fit of this dress, nipped in waist and straight to the knee. It’d look great with flats, heels, boots, basically everything. It costs about $187, which is major dent in my paycheck, but maybe santa will be nice this year, right?

November 12, 2007 - 12:25 pm

Caitlin - The dress is perfect! The price, not so much. The next time I have investment money, I’ll be looking Mr. Perse up.

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old soul & old sounds

Music that has that slightly older flair is my favorite right now. From Amy Winehouse’s deep voice to movie soundtracks from decades ago, it’s just fun to listen to music when it wasn’t overproduced and over-stylized. Cue in Nicole Atkins. She has a sound reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, but yet makes it her own. A friend of mine introduced me to her last year and I totally forgot about her until I saw her appearance on David Letterman. Watch her perform, “The Way It Is” and I’m sure you’ll be a fan too.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9niPWhNmKw&rel=1]

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